Curtis to join CJ Invitational

Major champion Ben Curtis of the United States and Korean stars Charlie Wi and Bae Sang-moon will headline the second edition of the CJ Invitational hosted by K.J. Choi.

Ben Curtis

Tournament host Choi, who won his own event last year, was delighted to announce that Curtis, winner of the British Open in 2003, will make his first visit to the US$750,000 full-field Asian Tour tournament from October 4 to 7 on the back of a strong season in America.

The 35-year-old secured his fourth PGA Tour victory at the Valero Texas Open earlier this season and posted two other top-five finishes, including a tied second finish at The Players Championship which is often dubbed the unofficial fifth Major.

After amassing seven career titles on the Asian Tour, the methodical Wi has established himself in the U.S. This year, he finished three times in the top-five and narrowly missed a maiden title when he led into the final day at the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-am before finishing second. Wi is tipped to contend at the impressive Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club next month.

Bae, 25, is one of the most exciting young players to emerge from Korea. He developed his knack for winning on the Asian Tour with one win in every season from 2007 to 2009 before topping the rankings in Japan with three victories in 2011.

The big-hitting Bae then pulled off a strong rookie season in the U.S. and made heads turn when he qualified for the quarter-finals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play before losing to current world number one Rory McIlroy.

The young Korean was also unlucky to miss out on a win when he lost in four-way play-off at the Transition Championship to England's Luke Donald.

Choi, who is an Asian Tour honorary member, said: "I am delighted to announce that we will have three very talented PGA Tour players in Ben Curtis, Charlie Wi and Bae Sang-moon competing in the CJ Invitational next month.

"Ben has enjoyed a wonderful career since his stunning victory at the British Open. This season, he has been a model of consistency where he won in Texas and produced several other top finishes.

"Charlie and Sang-moon have also enjoyed great seasons in America, especially Sang-moon being a rookie on the PGA Tour. It will be a great homecoming for the two players and I am sure they will be eager to put on a good showing for their fans."

With the best players from Asia including the likes of recent winners Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, who secured a record 14th title in Malaysia, and India's Gaganjeet Bhullar heading to Korea, Choi knows he must be in top form to successfully defend his crown.

"Retaining my title will be one of my goals at the CJ Invitational but it will not be easy with the caliber of players who will be at Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club. I also intend to be a good host by ensuring that all players are looked after during the week.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank CJ Group for its continued support of this event which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Korean Golf Tour once again. I am confident golf fans will be in a for a treat as we will have very strong players competing in the tournament."

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